Panasonic FZ-E1

Panasonic returns to the smartphone market with a new device running Windows Embedded 8 Handheld. The announcement comes from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We don’t cover Windows Embedded too much, because these are devices that are more oriented towards enterprise users. Plus it was only just last month that we first learned Panasonic was working with Microsoft to build a new handheld device for enterprise, the FZ-E1 is it. Specs and more info below.

The FZ-E1 isn’t going to win any awards in the consumer space, but again, that’s because this is geared towards enterprise scenarios. That said, you do get a 5-inch display with a 1280 x 720 resolution. It’s powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 800 at 2.3 GHz. Inside it has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The rear camera is 8MP, while the front-facing camera is 1.3 MP. The battery capacity is 6,200 mAh. Talk about battery life. You also get Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/n/n/ac, micro USB port, GSP and NFC.

This is a very, very tough phone. It features a MIL-STD-810G military rating, survive a drop from 3 meters and stay submerged in 1.5 meters of water for 30 minute. The Panasonic FZ-E1 can operate in temperatures ranging from -20 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius.

If you’re a superhero in your spare time you might want the FZ-E1.

However, this isn’t a phone aimed at the consumer space. The FZ-E1 is running Windows Embedded 8 Handheld for the OS. Sure, it’s build on Windows Phone 8 and can run apps from the Windows Phone Store, but it goes beyond that.

Windows Embedded 8 Handheld allows businesses and developers to create specific applications for enterprises. Devices running Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, like the Panasonic FZ-E1, can easily be outfitted with extra peripherals like barcode scanners and credit card readers. Developers can then create line-of-business applications aimed directly at Windows Embedded 8 Handheld devices.

So imagine checking out at a store, a sales associate could use the FZ-E1 outfitted with a credit card reader and barcode scanner to complete the transaction.

The FZ-E1 will be available in Japan first, followed by a rollout in the United States and Europe. Retail pricing starts at $1,300.

We’ll hit up the Panasonic booth tomorrow for some hands-on photos and coverage.

Source: Panasonic, Via/Image: Reuters